Nepal stun India for historic victory
Nov 13, 2017-
An all-round performance from skipper Dipendra Singh Airee led Nepal to a historic win over Test giants India during the fourth ACC U-19 Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Sunday.
The thrilling 19-run victory at the Bayuemas Oval grounds was Nepal’s first ever success against the South Asian and world cricketing powerhouse in the age-group category. The win was all the more sweet and memorable, considering that India are the three-time defending champions of the event. After sharing the title with arch-rivals Pakistan in 2002, India won the next two editions in 2014 and 2016.
Put into bat first in the match on Sunday, Nepal were restricted to 185-8 despite an entertaining 88-run innings from Airee. He then returned with the ball to take four key wickets as Nepal dismissed India for 166 runs in 48.1 overs. Nepal coach Binod Das lauded Airee for his “brilliant” all-round performance and credited the victory to their hard work leading up to the competition. “Defeating teams like India gives a positive message in terms of future of Nepali cricket,” said Das, the former national team skipper, over the phone from Kuala Lumpur.
Former Indian stalwart and U-19 coach Rahul Dravid said Nepal played well and deserved the victory on Sunday. “All credit goes to Nepal for making a remarkable comeback in the game. On our part, we failed to capitalise on the good start. But we look forward to the next match (against Bangladesh) where we need to avoid a repeat of such mistakes,” added Dravid.
It took the ICC Associate nation Nepal more than 17 years to beat their South Asian neighbours since their first encounter during the U-19 World Cup in 2000, where they were hammered by eight wickets. The first encounter was also memorable, considering that India were represented by allrounders Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif, who went on the establish themselves in the senior Indian team. Nepal had lost all five previous encounters against India--twice in the ICC U-19 World Cups (2000, 2016) and thrice in the ACC U-19 Asia Cups (2012, 2013, 2016).
However, Nepal have had their stunning moments against Test-playing nations in the past. After registering upset wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh in the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2002, Nepali colts maintained their giant-killing act in the showpiece event beating South Africa twice in 2004, 2006 and New Zealand (2006, 2016) and Zimbabwe (2008).
The victory came a day after Nepal fell agonising close to beating Bangladesh in their Group A opener on Saturday. Nepal lost the game by two wickets in the last over thriller. The win put Nepal in second place level on two points with India and Bangladesh in the four-team standings. India still lead the table on net run-rate, with Bangladesh in third. The win has also boosted Nepal’s chances of a maiden semi-final appearance in the event. A win over Malaysia on Tuesday and favourable results in the other matches involving Bangladesh will put Airee’s team into the last four.
Nepal’s major coups against Test nations
- Beat Pakistan and Bangladesh in the ICC U-19 WC 2002
- Beat South Africa (U-19 WC 2004)
- Beat South Africa and New Zealand (U-19 WC 2006)
- Beat Zimbabwe (U-19 WC 2008)
- Beat New Zealand (U-19 WC 2016)
Published: 13-11-2017 08:15